Announcing KDE Neon Experimental

With Neon unstable’s Plasma 6 packages bubbling along nicely, it was decided that all new KF6 based apps should be based in the freshly repurposed Experimental archive. Experimental builds on Unstable but nicely segregates the pre-alpha KF6 apps from the more stable Plasma 6 desktop.

A new package, neon-settings-experimental has been made which installs neon-experimental.list to point to the experimental archive and 99-jammy-overrides-experimental which adds a pin to make the experimental archive package always be installed. All packages in experimental are versioned the same as in unstable, which means it’s a competition of who has the highest packaging suffix. However the aforementioned pin ensures that the KF6 based experimental package always wins even if it means a downgrade (in timestamp version numbers). So don’t be scared if apt tells you it will be downgrading packages because really you are upgrading! ;]

sudo apt install neon-settings-experimental
sudo apt update
sudo apt dist-upgrade
will install the required new package, update your apt package list and then upgrade to kf6 any packages you have installed from this list.

As it is pre-alpha software, certain apps may try to kill your kittens. However you can always install a snap or a flatpack for many applications. If you do want to return to a pure Neon Unstable environment:
sudo apt remove --purge neon-settings-experimental
sudo apt update
sudo apt dist-upgrade

will downgrade all packages that have a lower suffix in experimental to their kf5 based unstable counterparts.

We will continue to add more KF6 based apps as we work our way through the extensive KDE apps catalog. Despite some rough edges, on the whole it is a very usable experience.

Of course we need to end this post with the obligatory gratuitous screenshot.

KDE neon Plasma 6 ISOs

KDE neon unstable edition is running Plasma 6 and is your ideal way to test the next version of our lightweight but powerful Linux desktop.

Currently it looks near identical to the Plasma 5 builds (hopefully a banner will be added shortly).

One obvious bug is visible in the panel above where items which should be aligned to the right are not, that’s easy to work around until it gets fixed. There’s many more bugs but considering this is an early port using unreleased frameworks it’s mostly useable, especially now the worst of the overlapping kf5/kf6 packages are sorted.

The Plasma bits such as System Settings are all Qt 6 and pre-KF6, so are Konsole and Dolphin but the rest is Qt 5 and there’s still some integration issues to be worked out.

So take care, don’t give it to your friends or family, but do give it a test and let us know what breaks.

Neon Unstable now using Qt 6 Builds of Frameworks and Plasma

KDE neon unstable edition is built from git master. For the last few weeks we have frozen the published repo because we knew the move to Qt 6 based builds of KDE Frameworks and Plasma would break install. They will still break install but now is the time to give it a try. It is vitally important to update your neon-settings-2 package first because the Qt 5 and 6 builds have overlapping files and this will allow that.

pkcon refresh
pkcon install neon-settings-2
pkcon update

or if you prefer apt

apt update
apt install neon-settings-2
apt full-upgrade

This is very early stage development. Almost everything is super broken from a user perspective, and it may not be useful to get 500 bug reports about every little thing so tread carefully. For any bug reports you do report add `qt6` tag.

Best of luck!

KDE neon Docker Images now in KDE Invent Container Registry

KDE neon has long had Docker images so you can run the latest KDE software without the faff of an operating system install. We’ve just moved the host for these into the KDE Invent server.

You can get the neondocker script to run them

or manually you can get it with

docker pull
xhost +
docker run -ti -v /tmp/.X11-unix:/tmp/.X11-unix -v ~/src:/home/neon/src -e DISPLAY=:0 konsole

KDE neon Rebased on Jammy

KDE neon builds packages of KDE software using latest Ubuntu LTS as a base. Every couple of years there’s a new Ubuntu LTS and so we build all our package and infrastructure onto that. We’ve just finished the move onto Ubuntu 22.04 (jammy) and installable ISO images are now based on that.

We’ll enable to upgrade for existing installs on Monday.

Quick KDE neon Rebase Poll: release now or later?

We are just about ready to launch the rebase of KDE neon on Ubuntu 22.04 Firefox is the browser again now as a Snap package. This breaks plasma-browser-integration but is otherwise working fine. Release now with Snaps or spend a couple more weeks working on other package formats?

Poll is on Twitter

Plasma 5.26 Beta Testing

Plasma 5.26 Beta was released yesterday

And now we need your help testing it. Download KDE neon Testing edition and install it on a machine (do backups etc or use a spare computer if you can).

Please help with reporting but also reviewing bugs that others have reported.

One big addition in this release is Plasma Bigscreen, a plasma workspace for your television. Install it along with auro-browser and plank-player and plasma-remotecontrollers and log into the Bigscreen session. We plan to make a KDE neon edition with a dedicated Bigscreen install soon.

KDE neon Docker Images now on 22.04LTS

KDE neon has Docker images which are great for easily testing out KDE software built from Git master, Git testing or releases without touching your host system.

The images have just been updating to use KDE neon on the new Ubuntu LTS base 22.04 (jammy).

Documentation on the wiki.

Run neondocker to get started or

Xephyr -screen 1024x768 :1 &
docker run -v /tmp/.X11-unix:/tmp/.X11-unix kdeneon/plasma:unstable

or single app

xhost +
docker run -v /tmp/.X11-unix:/tmp/.X11-unix -e DISPLAY=:0 --security-opt seccomp=unconfined kdeneon/plasma:unstable dolphin

KDE neon: Jammy Porting Update

Jammy porting is happening at full pace. Almost all the packages are now compiled and that leaves ISOs to be built and upgrade to be tested.

As with any software or engineering project there’s not much point in putting a deadline on it, it’ll be ready when it’s ready. As a moving target the builds are often two steps forward and one step back cos suddenly there’s a new KDE Gear that needs built.

But we’ll be with you soon 🙂